'Billy Elliot' to close on Broadway in January

October 3, 2011 - 3:30 PM
Billy Elliot Broadway

FILE- In this file theater publicity image released by Barlow-Hartman Public Relations, Kiril Kulish, center, plays the title character in the musical

NEW YORK (AP) — "Billy Elliot the Musical" is planning its last dance on Broadway.

Producers announced Monday that the Tony Award-winning show will play its final performance on Jan. 8, ending a more than three-year run at the Imperial Theatre on 45th Street that will have included 1,304 regular performances and 40 previews.

The musical, which recouped its $18 million investment in 14 month, is based on the popular 2000 movie about a young boy who longs to dance ballet but lives in the bleak coal-mining area of Northern England. His story is set against the backdrop of a bitter miners' strike.

The show took its time jumping from a London stage to New York but was greeted with critical acclaim when it did. It had one of the biggest casts on Broadway and multiple young actors playing the role of Billy.

In recent weeks, the theater has been between 70 percent and 80 percent full, but the box office has only taken in about 50 percent of its potential because of discounting. Last week, according to The Broadway League, the musical took in $718,015, out of a potential $1,327,900.

Producers estimate that the show has been seen by 1,659,867 theatergoers to date since it opened in November 2008 on Broadway. Fans will still be able to see the show in London's West End, where it is currently playing its seventh year, and on tour across America. It is currently in St. Louis and will be in Philadelphia and Rochester, N.Y., next month.

Stephen Daldry, who directed the film, did the same for the stage version. Lee Hall adapted his own screenplay and wrote the lyrics, and pop star Elton John wrote the music. The musical won the 2009 Tony Award for best musical as well as nine other Tonys. Globally, "Billy Elliot the Musical" has played to 7.5 million people and has grossed $600 million.

___

On the Net:

http://www.billyelliotbroadway.com